Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a member of the radical leftist group known as “The Squad,” reportedly married a security guard she had allegedly previously paid with campaign finances.
Bush wed Cortney Merritts, a U.S. Army veteran, in a private ceremony in St. Louis. As recently as 2022, Merritts worked for the Bush campaign as a security guard and was paid $62,359 with another $2,359 in cash reimbursements. Per KSDK:
Merritts’ social media posts show he traveled with Bush on her trips to her first inauguration in January of 2021, to the Ed Sullivan Theater for her appearance The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and to Central America on a trip with a Congressional delegation.
The first direct campaign payments to Merritts were reported in 2022 after their relationship began.
Bush began spending significant money on hiring security guards in August 2020. Between then and now, her campaign spending records show $627,088 in security-related expenses.
The payments could potentially interest the FEC and the Congressional Ethics Office, which prohibits campaign funds for personal use, but the law does give some leeway for family members who perform a “bona fide service.” Republicans as well as Democrats have paid family members for such services, according to campaign finance reporting from election watchdogs at Open Secrets.
“Such a transaction is permissible under the House Rules only if the campaign does not pay more than fair market value in the transaction,” the House Ethics rule pamphlet says.
The rule also stipulates campaign finances cannot “enhance a Member’s lifestyle” or go to “pay a Member’s personal obligations.”
“Members have wide discretion in determining what constitutes a bona fide campaign or political purpose to which campaign funds and resources may be devoted, but Members have no discretion whatsoever to convert campaign funds to personal use,” it adds.
As Breitbart News reported , Cori Bush was at the center of controversy last year upon revelations she paid up to $500,000 on private security, despite her hard line Defund the Police stance.
Rep. Cori Bush admits spending $70,000.00 for private security, yet still says "defund the police." https://t.co/7dcPv64HRh
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 6, 2021
“The thing about defund the police is we have to tell the entire narrative. People hear ‘defund the police.’ But you know what they’ll say? Say ‘reallocate,’ say ‘divest,’ say ‘move.’ But it’s still the same thing,” she told Good Morning America.
“We can’t get caught up on the words. People spend more time focusing on the word ‘defund’ than they spend on caring and addressing the problem of police in this country,” she added.
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